Monday, July 19, 2010

Flyers send Gagne to Tampa Bay

The Flyers announced today that they have acquired defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for left wing Simon Gagne.

"This was a move to solidify our defense," said general manager Paul Holmgren. "Matt Walker is a right shot defenseman that we like. He brings size, grit and toughness to our backend. Simon Gagne played 10 seasons for the Flyers and was not only a good player for us, but also handled himself in a first class manner on and off the ice."

Walker, 30, appeared in 66 games during the regular season for the Lightning, recording five points (2G,3A) and 90 penalty minutes.

"My initial reaction was pure excitement," said Walker. "To find out that I was coming to Philly, I don't know if I would say it was a life-long dream, but I've always wanted to play in Philly and I thought I would be a good fit there."

Over parts of seven seasons in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues (2002-03 to 2007-08), Chicago Blackhawks (2008-09) and Lightning (2009-10), Walker has recorded 30 points (4G,26A) and 444 penalty minutes in 304 career regular season games, and two assists and 14 penalty minutes in 21 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.

A native of Beaverlodge, Alberta, Walker was originally selected by the Blues in the third round (83rd overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Gagne, 30, recorded 40 points (17G,23A) in 58 regular season games this past season and 12 points (9G,3A) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help lead the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final. He recorded the
game-winning goal in overtime of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal vs. Boston to give the Flyers a 5-4 win, as well as the game-winner in Game 7 of the series to give the Flyers a 4-3 victory over the Bruins.

He has spent his entire NHL career with the Flyers, and in 10 full seasons, has produced 259 goals and 265 assists for 524 points and 278 penalty minutes in 664 career regular season games. He ranks ninth on
the Flyers' all-time list in goals (259) and 10th in points (524) and games played (664), while placing fourth in both goals and points among left wings in Flyers history.

In 90 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, he recorded 32 goals and 15 assists for 47 points, ranking eighth all-time in Flyers playoff history in goals (32) and tied for seventh in game-winning goals (6).

Over the course of his 10 seasons in Philadelphia, Gagne led the team in goals on three occasions (2001-02, 2005-06 & 2006-07) and twice in points (2005-06 & 2006-07). He has also been recipient of the Bobby
Clarke Trophy, as the team MVP, on two occasions (2005-06 & 2006-07), while also being named to the mid-season NHL All-Star game twice (2000-01 & 2006-07).

A native of Ste. Foy, Quebec, Gagne was selected by the Flyers in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

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